We are a group of players with very varied level of experience in RPG's (me being on the noob side of things). My char is a Drow Rogue, Arcane Trickster level 3.

I know that as a Drow I get Darkness at level 5. I came up with a (possibly) silly mechanic for fun and giggles:

  • Cast Darkness on the tip of my hat. This should create an area of magical darkness all around me, I'd be effectively blind and eventually slam into an obstacle).

  • Cast some spell of the type "summon a ring of XXX that moves around you and deals damage / has effect on contact".

  • Start running around mowing down friends and foe alike, who won't see it coming due to darkness.

Here are a couple of doubts I have regarding it:

  • Is it doable, or have I underestimated some factor?

  • Which are the best spells for this AoE damage? (Another party member can cast the spell on me, so it doesn't have to be me casting it on myself: party has Cleric, Druid, Ranger, Warlock, and Barbarian so I am not confined to the Wizard list of spells)

Some notes:

  • Sword Burst (SCAG) seems a valid option, but is "only" 2d6 at lvl5. I'm looking for something with the similar mechanic, but possibly more persistent effect rather than a flash of dmg. I'd prefer a spell that doesn't do damage but has some AoE effect (pushback, knockdown, status...)

  • The spell doesn't HAVE to move around. I could use it stationary as a defense mechanism, though having it spin around me while I move would dramatically improve its effectiveness.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome. I'm Voting to close your question as Primarily opinion-based. Your question is too open-ended without any criteria for users to vote on what would be a good or bad answer. This might be better suited to a forum like Enworld rather than the Q and A style of stackexchange. I do think you can make this a good question if you edit it to only the mechanical requirements and goals of what you are trying to accomplish with a defined success state. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 17:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this got off to the wrong start right from the title: an RFC—“Request for Comment”—is a document to prompt general feedback and discussion towards refining a proposal, but RPG.se is a Q&A site where answers must be full solutions, not just partial feedback. Your actual question is slightly more concrete, but is still in the “looking for ideas and feedback” vein. This might be better served by a discussion forum instead—or you might want to revise this to be a specific, concrete question that can have a specific, correct, concrete answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 18:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoshuaAslanSmith , SevenSidedDie :thanks for your feedback. I edited to leave only the actual mechanical question and changed to rest to notes. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 10:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ notifying also @SevenSidedDie of the edit. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 16:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is still looking for anyone's ideas and opinions, which isn't a kind of question that SE is suited to. For brainstorming help a discussion forum is ideal and SE's structure is deliberately bad at such questions (in order to optimise for the kinds of questions that forums are bad at). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 17:18

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, you wouldn't be able to see in it either.

Magical darkness spreads from a point you choose within range to fill a 15-foot-radius sphere for the duration. The darkness spreads around corners. A creature with darkvision can’t see through this darkness, and nonmagical light can’t illuminate it.

This may throw a wrench in your plans, as you'd essentially be blind.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I wouldn't be able to see THROUGH it, but since it radiates from the top of my hat, it wouldn't radiate in a cone around me (due to the hat itself blocking the radiance), so I should be able to see my immediate proximity in the cone (a normal char wouldn't, as it would be normal darkness in the cone, but i have darkvision). Even if the DM rules im effectively blind, i'd run the risk of a concussion for running in a wall at worst, provided i dont use it near a lava pit or smtng, which is probably worth it? Remember this is a kamikaze technique to emergencies :D \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 16:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DiegoMartinoia While that would make sense, by RAW it doesn't appear to be the case. The darkness completely covers an area and is only obstructed by total coverage. That said, your character appears to be in essentially the same condition anywhay since he can't see outside of the width of his own hat in that houserule. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 16:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ You didn't ask for a simulationist answer, but it might be useful to imagine that darkness (like light) is both a wave and a particle. So the hat doesn't block the "radiating" darkness. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 17:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ I wouldn't be able to see THROUGH it, but since it radiates from the top of my hat If you look at the spell description, it makes a 15' radius fill with darkness. You are within that 15' sphere, the center of which is your hat. You are therefore in darkness, per the spell description. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 17:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Darkness isn't a radiant spell. If you read the description is states that it goes around corners etc. regarding seeing through it. Doesn't matter if that means you are in it or not. You can't see through even 1 inch of this spell's darkness. The darkness is total obscurity. Another point I would like to mention is this, a drow just simply wouldn't do this, not intentionally anyway. They are too self absorbed to put themselves at a kamikazi like risk. \$\endgroup\$
    – Escoce
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 17:23

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